Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 23rd, 2012
BluRay released: October 8th, 2012
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Japanese
BluRay Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region B (UK)
Retail Price: £13.99
Kotoko was co-written and directed by Shinya Tsukamoto, who’s other notable films include Tetsuo and Bullet Ballet. He also has a prominent role in Kotoko. The screenplay for Kotoko was co-written by Cocco, who also portrays this protagonist Kotoko. To date this film marks her one and only appearance in a film.
From the get go this film perfectly establishes a sense of paranoia that firmly reinforces its protagonists Kotoko’s deteriorating mental state. And this film does by infusing a visual style of that heavily uses a very shaky steady cam shots to depict Kotoko’s Birdseye view of the world around her.
Content wise, the events which unfold onscreen are often bleak and at times gruesome. With this film’s protagonist on more than one occasion self mutilating herself and inflicting pain on those who she cares for.
From a production stand point there is no area in which this production does not excel. The film has an appropriately frantic pacing, there is an abundance of tension throughout and performance wise this film’s two main actors, Cocco in the role of Kotoko and Shinya Tsukamoto in the role of a man, who wants to help Kotoko. They both give extraordinary performances that will linger on in the viewers mind long after the film’s final frame has faded off the screen.
Ultimately Kotoko is a grueling journey that most causal cinema goers will find hard to digest, while those brave enough to dig into this film’s deeper meanings are sure to find a richly rewarding experience.
Kotoko comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Details always look crisp, colors and flesh tones look accurate and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. The audio mix sounds very good as this is more of a dialog / mood driven film, it should be noted that the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack sound pitch perfect.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 59 seconds -anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), a interview with director Shinya Tsukamoto (21 minutes 46 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), who discusses the origins of the films, working with actress Cocco and the critical reaction to the film. Also included with this release is a trailer for Tetsuo (1 minute 58 seconds -1.33:1 full frame, in Japanese with English subtitles). Overall Kotoko gets a first rate release from Third Window films.
Note: This film is also being released by Third Window Films on DVD.